What are the necessary qualities for an ideal secretary to an MP, especially when that MP belongs to the BJP party?
Well, a new course by a RSS-linked organisation called Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (RMP) is hoping to teach PA and personal secretaries exactly that.
According to a report in the Indian Express, RMP's course which costs Rs 5000 and is called “Certificate Course in Political Assistantship,” will offer the following classes to students:
“roles and responsibilities of a PA”, “history of BJP, RSS”, “history of BJP in governance”, “overview of political situation”, “brief history of other political parties”, “parliamentary procedures”, “parliamentary tools”, “MPLADs” and “publicity and image building”.
The course objectives includes giving a political outlook to students, along with "giving practical exposure and a hands-on experience."
The course starts in Mumbai this month and according to Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, director general of RMP, close to 15-20 applicants are ready to join. So why an educational course? According to Sahasrabuddhe, being an MP's PA is no easy job. He tells the paper, "PAs are playing a big role in the way elected representatives are conducting themselves these days. In fact, PAs now have the ability to make or mar the political careers of the elected representatives they work with. With their role acquiring such criticality, there is no structured training available to hone their skills."
The course will also teach "communication skills" to PAs. Interestingly RMP is not limited to BJP's MPs. Sahasrabuddhe claims that even reps from "Shiv Sena, MNS, NCP and even the Congress" attended their courses over the years.
While the course sounds like an interesting one that could help some of the personal assistants and secretaries hone much-needed skills, RMP's RSS-links once again show how much influence the body continues to have both covertly and more publicly over the political party. That Secys and PAs will be taught a history of the RSS and BJP along with an overview of the political situation, thus firmly reminding them of the importance of the RSS when it comes to the fate of the BJP.
Most recently, RSS-backed organisations have come out and spoken against field trails of genetically modified crops (GM crops) in India. According to reports, two RSS organisations Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, asked environment minister Prakash Javadekar to put the Indian biotechnology regulator’s nod for field trails of genetically modified crops (GM crops) on hold. Apparently, the minister assured them that the proposal has been put on hold.
A PTI report said that the representatives of the two organisations, Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, “apprised him (the minister) about their concerns over the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) clearing earlier this month 15 proposals for confined field trials for rice, brinjal, chickpea, mustard and cotton.” While this pressure is seen as a positive step, the RSS-takeover in the academia has come under criticism.
Most recently it was reported that Gujarat had approved school textbooks via RSS-member Dinanth Batra, which spoke of ideas bordering on ludicrous. For instance Batra's books talk of an 'akhand bharat' which includes "Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma."
Updated Date: Aug 01, 2014 09:23:05 IST